STUDY: Billions in Ohio Consumers Savings At Risk As Utilities Secure Costly Riders, Start Push to Eliminate Consumer Choice
By NOPEC on August 9, 2019
(Solon, Ohio) – Ohio consumers have saved a total of nearly $24 billion – or about $3 billion per year -- over the past 8 years by choosing their electricity suppliers in a deregulated market, but efforts by the state’s investor-owned utility companies are chipping away at those savings as the threat to reregulate energy markets intensifies, say researchers at The Ohio State University and Cleveland State University.
“Competitive markets have proven to be a powerful tool to deliver value to Ohio’s ratepayers,” according to the study by The Ohio State University’s John Glenn College of Public Affairs and Cleveland State University’s Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs. But the study adds: “Efforts to undermine the efficiency of these markets, like subsidies for uneconomic generating facilities, are a threat to Ohio’s economic development and wellbeing. Any attempt to derail competitive generation markets would cause significant harm to all of Ohio’s electric consumers and Ohio’s economy.”
“In fact, attempts are heating up to derail competition, eliminate consumers’ rights to choose their energy supplier and undermine years of progress on the energy choice front,” said Chuck Keiper, Executive Director of the Northeast Ohio Public Energy Council (NOPEC).
That’s why NOPEC, which commissioned the first study on the effects of deregulation in 2015, asked the same researchers to update the findings and validate projected savings, Keiper said.
NOPEC is a nonprofit council of governments that works cooperatively to provide a competitive environment for energy and cost savings for the nearly 900,000 residents and small businesses it serves in more than 230 communities in 17 counties throughout Ohio.
“The first study, and now this update, provide the hard evidence to support what so many of us presumed – that being able to choose means consumers save billions of dollars each year,” Keiper said. “Competition means the smartest, most capable and efficient energy companies thrive. And a competitive electricity market leads to more secure energy industry jobs because these companies succeed based on their performance – not because they’re propped up by government subsidies and regulation or have a monopoly on electricity generation,” Keiper added.Tags: NOPEC, Energy Aggregation, Consumer Choice, Electricity